The first three were instant selections. Declan Daly, Henrik Larsson and Paolo Maldini.
He was tough and hard-working, didn’t have any ego, and his tenacious defensive efforts were aspirational for a young full-back. It probably helped that he was captain, which meant I got to accompany him onto the Cross when I was a mop-haired mascot in 1991.
George O’Callaghan, a different character to Daly, was a real entertainer. A playmaker and occasional showboater he was a joy to watch and always great craic to interview. Georgie wore the number 10 jersey when I was starting out at the Echo. Halcyon days.
Neil Lennon was a cult hero but also an under-rated midfield general with the Hoops, while Alan Thompson was always capable of delivering when it mattered. Thompson hammered in seven Old Firm goals, topping his three red cards at Ibrox, but he also rifled home a winner in another Celtic-Bara game I was lucky enough to attend, knocking them out of the Uefa Cup in 2004.
Favourite Irish players: Declan Daly, George O’Callaghan, Neil Lennon, Robbie Keane.
Favourite rest of the world: Henrik Larsson, Paolo Maldini, Alan Thompson, Paolo Di Canio.